Khyentse Foundation, founded by the revered Bhutanese lama, teacher, filmmaker, and author Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, has announced the sixth Khyentse Fellowship award for Malaysian monk and socially engaged Buddhist Venerable Wei Wu.
“Khyentse Foundation and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche are pleased to honor Ven. Wei Wu as the 2020 Khyentse Fellow, the highest KF award to an individual, in recognition of his immeasurable and outstanding contribution to the promotion of the Buddhadharma and Buddhist education over the past decades,” Khyentse Foundation said.
The Khyentse Fellowship was established in 2011 to recognize individuals who have devoted their lives and careers to preserving, promoting, and upholding the Buddhadharma. Past recipients include Alak Zenkar Rinpoche (Tudeng Nima Rinpoche), Prof. Peter Skilling, Prof. Ven. Dhammajoti, John Canti and Wulston Fletcher, and Prof. Gao Mingdao.
“We are particularly impressed and inspired by Ven. Wei Wu’s work with the Than Hsiang Temple/Foundation in Malaysia and the International Buddhist College in Thailand,” the foundation added. “As an expression of our gratitude for Ven. Wei Wu’s unceasing work and his dedication and devotion to preserving and promoting the Buddha’s teachings and their applications in the world, Khyentse Foundation offers him an award of US$30,000.”
Ven. Wei Wu was born in Penang, Malaysia, and had a successful professional lay career before being ordained as a Buddhist monk in the Mahayana tradition. Although a devout Buddhist, due to professional commitments in his lay life, Ven. Wei Wu was not ordained until 1992. He received higher ordination in the US later that same year, and subsequently received the Chan Caodong Dharma Lineage from his teacher, Ven. Bo Yuan in 1995.
Ven. Wei Wu founded Than Hsiang Temple/Foundation in 1985, before his ordination, describing the temple and organization as a place “for the young to learn, the strong and healthy to serve, the sick and aged to be cared for, and the departed to find spiritual destination.” (International Buddhist College) Than Hsiang has since become a leading Mahayana organization in Malaysia, providing various educational and community services ranging from kindergarten, Buddhist primary and secondary schools, welfare care, and senior care homes, along with traditional religious services. He is also a founder of the International Buddhist College in Thailand to promote Buddhist education.
Ven. Wei Wu is actively involved in numerous in social welfare projects, and has established homes and kindergartens for the underprivileged throughout Malaysia.
“At a time when the entire world is going through all kinds of health, climate, economic, and political upheavals, we need bodhisattvas like Ven. Wei Wu more than ever before,” the foundation observed. “We take this opportunity to officially acknowledge him for all his hard work, and we pray for his valuable efforts to continue and to flourish for the benefit of all sentient beings.”
Khyentse Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by Dzomgsar Khyentse Rinpoche in 2001 with the aim of promoting the Buddha’s teaching and supporting all traditions of Buddhist study and practice. The foundation’s activities include major text preservation and translation projects, support for monastic colleges in Asia, a worldwide scholarship and awards program, development of Buddhist studies at major universities, training and development for Buddhist teachers, and and developing new modes of Dharma-inspired education for children.